Post Game Thoughts- Redskins 16 Jets 11
Another ugly preseason game in the books and I think the warning lights might be going off in Florham Park tonight.
Once again right at the top of the list are the Jets runners. I think all the criticism of letting Thomas Jones go has officially subsided after this game. LaDainian Tomlinson is proving that in this scheme he can still break big plays, just like Jones did. Tomlinson looks as if he is going to get a full 50/50 split with Shonn Greene, at least early in the season, and we are already seeing glimpses of what he can do. Tomlinson had a key first down pickup in the passing game that will be overlooked because of his big runs, but that pass play is something the Jets lacked last year. Greene also had a strong game with consistent gains every time he touched the football. Greene's biggest asset is that he never stops his legs and, as long as he protects the football, that is going to lead to a lot of plays going for 4 and 5 yards that should only go for 2 or 3 during the course of the season.
Another great effort from the special teams with Brad Smith being the man to cause a fumble this week, which was recovered by Vernon Gholston. Coverage teams were stellar, making big hits and doing a pretty good job of downing punts. Joe McKnight looks like he has no business playing running back in the NFL, but he is going to be the teams punt return man this year. He looks very good in that role and as long as he protects the football he will be a big asset.
The first team run defense was outstanding and that is clearly going to be a strength this year. Washington's runners had nowhere to go which is a credit to everyone on the defense. The Jets were flying to the football getting stops both at and behind the line tonight. The Jets defensive line may be thin, but their rotation guys look to be even better than last year in this regard.
Calvin Pace had a solid all around game and once again made a hit on the QB and was credited with causing a fumble. Pace is always one of the toughest Jets to figure out because at times he looks so good and at others is invisible.He suffered a foot injury, but will hopefully be ready for the regular season. Pace has stated that he wants this to be his greatest statistical year and thus far he is making good on his promise. If the Jets get this same effort in the regular season he will get his 10+ sacks.
Give some credit to the Jets secondary players for being involved in the pass rush. We did not see a lot of that last season other than S Jim Leonhard being a standard in the blitz packages, but it looks to be a bigger part of the defense this season. S Brodney Pool looked very effective in that role and should have been awarded a fumble recovery. CB Kyle Wilson showed good speed and had a pressure and also took part in a sack with Leonhard. The Jets did not really have the ability to do this last season and hopefully it will improve the rush in 2010.
The Jets pass protection is starting to be a worry. D'Brickashaw Ferguson got beat again this week and was forced to grab a hold to keep his QB from getting killed. The right side of the starting line broke down a few times and this has to be fixed in the next few weeks. G Vladimir Ducasse got his chance to play with the starters and nearly got Mark Sanchez killed. If we still had Chad Pennington as QB of the team his season would have been over after a hit like that. Ducasse looks awful and also gave up another one later in the game with Mark Brunell at QB. We know Ducasse is raw, but it looks like 2010 is going to be a washout year for him. The rest of the backups were nothing to write home about and it seems pretty clear that an injury to any of the starting five offensive lineman would be a disaster for the team.
This was the first game of the preseason where Darrelle Revis was really missed. Washington, with NFL flop Rex Grossman at the helm, did a good job of attacking 15 to 20 yards down the field, something that never happened with Revis. There was at least one play where the corners and safeties seemed to be on different play calls leading to a big reception and again the Jets came up short in the interception department. That is not to say that this is an alarm for the team just yet, but the Jets look to be a bit more of a bend but don't break defense without Revis.
DE/OLB Jason Taylor has to be something of a disappointment so far. He hasn't done anything of merit thus far and he was out there playing in the 4th quarter with the backups. I'm not really sure what to make of that but such a move might indicate that the Jets feel he is not in full football shape yet and needs the repetitions. I can not imagine that Taylor ever anticipated being used late in a meaningless preseason game when he signed.
Ball security on the team looks to be a problem. The Jets were putting the ball on the ground so often tonight and that is usually a sign of poor preparation by the coaching staff. The staff may want to start running more drills to keep the ball in the hands of the players. You should never see two wide receivers cough the ball up in one game.
The second team defense just is not very good. Rex Ryan gave them a chance to save the win and they could not do it. They looked lost trying to bring down RB Larry Johnson or covering some of the short passing routes. Something tells me that come September the Jets will be very active scouting the waiver wire for backup help.
Just when you thought all was good with K Nick Folk he goes and misses an extra point. Not sure what happened there but a kicker should never ever be missing those. Lets hope that it was just a minor setback.
CB Brian Jackson may have won the King Ugly contest, but for there was none uglier on the field than QB Mark Sanchez. The Jets brought in all of these high powered weapons fir the team, but they are useless if the QB play continues to be poor. Sanchez led the offense to nothing for the second week in a row, which led the coach to keep the starters in the game until the fourth quarter just so they could finally put up a touchdown against the Redskins backups. Sanchez did look like he has better awareness in the pocket, but he just looked so inaccurate passing the football. He should have given up a pick 6 early in the game and finally did get picked off deep in Redskin territory on a play I was sure was going back for a score. Right now Sanchez looks more like the Sanchez of October 2009 than the one from January of 2010. If they get the early 2009 Sanchez again this season the Jets better quickly rethink the offensive philosophy if they want a fast start to the season. As it stands right now the Jets look poised to lose a number of 10-6 type games.